Faculty sounds note of caution over Upper Tribunal impartiality

Faculty sounds note of caution over Upper Tribunal impartiality

The Faculty of Advocates has sounded a note of caution about a potential impartiality issue in draft regulations on the composition of the Upper Tribunal for Scotland when hearing housing and property cases.

The regulations transfer the functions and members of the Private Rented Housing Panel (prhp) and the Homeowner Housing Panel (hohp) to the Scottish Tribunals, and determine the composition of the First-Tier and Upper Tribunal in cases from the housing and property Chamber.

In a response to a Scottish government consultation on the regulations, the Faculty noted a difficulty in principle in a proposal that, on occasion, the president of the housing and property Chamber could sit alone to hear an appeal if, as occurs at present, the Chamber president is involved in the administration of the prhp and hohp.

It said: “The Faculty considers that the proposal to allow the Chamber President to hear appeals in the Upper Tribunal sitting alone, although subject to the safeguard of appointment by the President of the Scottish Tribunals, may not present the appearance of impartiality and independence which is an essential aspect of an appeal body…”


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